I see the skin of this woman. Bare before my morning eyes. Pale as the light that rests on blanco walls. Softness is her essence. Her red hair; the fragrance of entire summers. She stands as a statue with the windows open, absorbing the fluidity of the city views. Colours between shadows. Exclusive noise, airing through modern transmissions of music. Small baubles of light, their microscopic rays shining through the creme room. Comets of fire endowed by ginger aromas. The heat of candlelight. Increasing temperatures. Firm beatings of the heart. My lips, on the border of her inner thighs – each pore on the surface of her skin is coronated as a regal feature. A regal woman with the affirmation of aristocracy. Subtleness which only the divine can assemble. Now she lays wondrous on the silk bedding. Reddened lips, like two slices of plums softly basking in the summer light. Midnight has overtaken our hearts and now we lay as two lovers, not knowing that the end is near. At times how I long for its return. To touch your lips – for just one more night.
The year is 2021. We have been greeted by a plague. Many did not see it coming. This, the vulnerability of man. We are simple creations. Otherwise we would not be warring. Men amongst men. Turning against their own brothers – and for what? What have we ever accomplished through war, televised images of constant bombardment that haunts cities and changes the perspective of men? What have we been aspiring to claim? To oust? Only ourselves. We will return to the soil but we forget that we came from the stars. We send armies into regions and only skeletal matter remains. Some are found and they are given honourable funerals where pain can never be omitted. Yet there are tens of thousands of stories that remain unarchived in the soil. They have returned to the earth and the perpetrators who live in the presence of their crimes will never be at peace. In this life nor the next. Sniper fire from city roofs. Ricocheting off buildings. The melody of the city night. The accustomed national anthem of mourning. Here they have bled. It is seen on their flags as a red treasure. The dead are the blood symbols of martyrdom. Murdered for who they were and who they would become. The love for your own nation can be often seen as damaging to a population, but how can we not have love for a country we were born in? Where as children we saw the visual representation of what it is to be human. The surrounding beauty of what has been created. And we continue to disintegrate cities into rubble. Violence has a way of creating its own worlds. Its effects are innumerable, to the point where it continues to replicate form. We created our own cities, first in the image of the sun. Then came the spiritual renaissance, the birth of an orator who spoke in the language of the divine. So we created metropolises in the image of God. Men who once hid behind the presence of the sun found refuge and sanctity in something greater. They became perilous. False prophets emerged as witnesses testified to the crucifixion of a man who translated the poetry of God. Where do you think our words emerge from, if not the inner light? From the prophets, to the philosophers. From the poets to the people. I never studied literature. I was a commendable student at best. Yet these words flow through me as though I am a soul in the Danube River – escaping from the sound of artillery; from the lakes where bodies of war submerge.
He glared over the city skyline that had become an evident portrayal of hate. All he can hear in his blemished conscience is the deafening yet mellow tone of the echoing of sirens that has become an anthem in a city so obsessed with crime. Some are infatuated by this cancer that infects the root of mankind. Destroying core fragments that make us human beings. Capable of discovering empathy and wisdom, in a a world that harvests the fruits of misfortune and greed. The thirst for emancipation subsides with every minute drop of blood that trickles down the ambulances who have become veterans of hosting death. For centuries have passed yet some human beings continue to be abetted by evil. Maybe our lives were written to be rehearsed. Maybe this darkness is embedded in people’s hearts and souls. They constantly yearn for its presence. To conquer their existence and replenish the voids that cannot be filled by righteousness.
Each year we would visit the graves of family members who had passed. Some would congregate beside tombstones, others picked at the overgrown plants that had risen, as bones nourished the soil in which they now reside. In the West graveyards are usually pristine, places where the eyes do not falter. But in this land death has a way of deepening senses. The art of faces, perishing into the past. In the West the dates between birth and death are not often surreal, yet here in this blood immersed land they glare below a sun that states the abrupt endings of life. 1989-1999. 1975-1999. 1980-1999. These were the years where the youth had no knowledge of what peace had to offer. They witnessed their fathers leaving their homes at noon to protest arm in arm. Marching unarmed towards militarised units and tanks with the capacity to crush their bones, sweep them to the side as if they were dust. And who would these policemen answer to, for inhumane crimes? Not a single prosecutor. They were immune to a colonial disease that eviscerated the soul of my people. The taste of teargas was food in which they offered; bullets were the currency of the state. Professors, doctors, intellectuals were all assigned as criminals, in their eyes. Neighbourhoods turned into secret havens, where men risked their lives to teach language that God had bestowed upon them. The human right to express a DNA, an identity, their lineage. Women and men wandered the curfew streets like spies in order to sustain an existence. Children traumatised before they had even learned to read or write. Maybe this was their plan all along, to silence us by ways of illiteracy and dependence. Yet we defied. Professors, activists, civilians and students became unarmed soldiers, their intellect was the armour of silent warfare. The regime’s archives will have you believe that guerrillas were responsible for the commencement of the war. In truth, this war had begun decades before. When they suppressed our language, fearing that words were the power to encapsulate wisdom. When they removed intellectual men from their positions of work and degraded them into becoming second-class citizens, knowing that their honour and obstinance would leave trails of sweat on bedsheets, along with terrors of the night. They carefully alienated an entire generation that had lived in peace during the years of Josip Tito. Albanians and Serbs had lived as one until ultra-nationalism became a serpent within the empire. My evidence is in experiences faced during the war. My father’s life was spared, by a Serb who had recognised him during the years in which they played professional football in the Yugoslav leagues. Those who profess of an intractable history, do not see or recognise or even acknowledge these instances of heart and flesh. They do not see the surface of human connection from their high castles where they plot and sharpen their philosophies of division as they plan the arraignment of innocent men. We cannot claim that every Serb was a warmonger, seeking to devour all that stood in his path. Just as we cannot forget the atrocities carried out by paramilitary forces as they ransacked villages, like Roman barbarians; burning houses and lining men and young boys across brick walls to massacre them without reason, nor reflection. Throughout human history powerful men with a lust for dominion have altered the fates of innocent people as if they were Gods. What they cannot see: is their ultimate destruction, their time usually comes. Either by guillotine or human justice. It surely comes. And the agency is returned to the intellects, the professors and the doctors, to the farmers and village-men who have worked the lands and terrain for centuries. They know a wild animal with a thirst for blood when they see one. The tyrants mistook their hospitality, respect and honour; for weakness. Within their creation is the will to protect their lands and their neighbours from hostile and murderous men, who speak nothing but the literature of violence and death.
Have you ever looked,
at a woman,
so cordial in her essence?
You feel as though,
could hinder her sunlit portrait.
continues to play;
where you inevitably taint this pristine brush.
that has never truly been held,
in an artists soft,
and passionate grip.
that has yet to absorb,
every coloured emotion,
under the dynastic sun.
that has never loved,
until the principles of sanity,
have been brought under question.
And I have finally come to realise,
why intimacy is a burden,
upon my soul.
The first steps,
towards an intimate bond,
are the most arduous,
I will ever have to take.
Give me war.
Give me hardship.
Give me pain.
But do not give me the power,
to decide her fate.
that her perfected perceptions,
may eventually break.
For I have tainted,
too many pristine brushes,
in my wake.
So I remain an artist,
without a brush to paint.
I’ve lived a thousand lives before this. I have thought an infinite amount of thoughts. The somber birds, melodise their notes from a distance, to the image of you, is where I am brought. Before I enter this right of passage, there is one but small request. To leave the vows of deceit and anguish, at this illustrious gate, which accepts no hells. I have walked along this residual path, more than my memories care to remember. So vivid, is this image of you, the only form of poetry in this ethereal shelter. Here they take no currency in manipulation. As I begin this journey, in debt to my past. Without a form of spare change in my pockets, my face tenses, remembering the conflicts against her cries. How can one, be ever so foolish, when they discard the echoes of the soul? Which gifts the egotistic man, the knowledge, that his evasions, shall be his downfall? He continues to walk idly, amongst his capital cities. Whilst war rips through his colonial lands. Now he walks, through the wrongs of passage. Where the heart of his lover, is nowhere to be found.
I remember the days when I used to hold her in arms. A fragile flower surrendering her eyes to my heart. Yet in truth, we were really worlds apart. The mind how it tricks the most sweetest of loves and doubt becomes the general that crushes the soul. Unable to picture our romance ever growing old. At the embryonic stage of every relationship, is a power you believe will resist any struggle. Those were the days where love was blind and guidance was lacking. If time could be reversed my name would be first on that list. As I walk through the city I feel the wind cutting my skin. Nature has a way of inflicting the most minor of pains. We would walk along the river bed, the birds reciting their hymns. I would fall back to admire this beauty in all of her sins.
Trees bemoan the season of autumn. Every time it comes around. A of its existence, falls to the ground. Leaving it vulnerable, cold and dazed. Like a broken soul, when the heart breaks. Slowly as the seasons change. The tree begins to breathe again. So when you’re left, exposed by love. remember the naked tree, in the winter sun.
I remember walking into a shadowy metropolis bar. Along the capital’s veins. Where fluorescent lights flickered like far worlds descending. The jazz blue. The marvel green. The impassioned red. Decorating the revellers crescent faces. Separated by the charcoaled darkness and coloured beams. On the faces of empowered youth. Nonchalant eyes wandered through the flow of cosmic sound. I made my way past vibrant bodies that the music had possessed in desire. Neglecting the musical twitch conquering my own. The embittered gin introducing itself to the state of the mind as I caught a glimpse of her face for the very first time. Her sclera, overshadowing, the dark essence of her iris and her pupil. A panther, in her elegance. Ruled by mystique, and by fire. With a royal confidence, she approached. In Mediterranean voice; she whispered a sensual verse close to my ear. Death black curls, thicker than rope. Strawberry lips, enriched to capture the eye of anyone who sought to gaze at her regal stature. For is this not what this world, it seeks? A night of lust? A voice to speak? Explorations through, foreign bodies and beds. To immerse in pleasure To immerse in pleasure. Until death.